On Friday night, my husband, daughter and I braved the weather (a sloppy freezing rain mix) to drive to Lancaster for First Friday when all the art galleries are open. The impetus was to see art photos of Tuscany by my friend Nan. Gallery DePaul is a lovely space, and we enjoyed taking in the images of one of the places where I dearly want to go. To see sunny Tuscany while a wintry mix threatens Pennsylvania is an act of great hope. While we were there, the gallery director stopped us. She wants my daughter to model for a photo series she is doing. This is fairly typical. Every time I take my daughter with me, the first Friday crowd fawns over her. She is a little actress in training, so of course, she is up for modeling. She does for me and my artwork all the time.
We only went to a few other galleries. We stopped in at Red Raven where I will have my artwork in February. We talked to one of the owners of the gallery who, besides being an artist, was a track coach back in the day when my husband and I ran high school track. He remembered Mark, and we were able to reminisce a little. My daughter fell in love with a little Yorkshire Terrier in the next gallery, but Mark and I were entranced by the man who was sharing his art of homemade breads. Then we went home and had some Mexican cheese fondue with my son who had been reading the whole time. (Probably the better bad weather pursuit.)
On Saturday, we rose early and went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a family. We are now new members of the museum and were going to see the Renoir landscape exhibit. Early birds, we killed time climbing the steps and showing the kids the Rocky statue--and explaining the lore. The exhibit itself was great. As I am trying out some new landscape paintings, I found lots of inspiration. We also checked out other Renoirs in the museum collection and the armor. My son is twice removed from his obsession with knights, but part of him is still intrigued. We went for lunch at Delilah's Soul Food at Reading Terminal Market. Oprah voted her macaroni and cheese best in the country, but we thought it was just average at best. Mostly it was a waste of the time we spent fantasizing about it. On the way out of the city, we stopped by the Rodin Museum. It is quite small, but doable for a family of four with little attention span left.
When we got home, we discovered that Rocky was going to be on TV later that night. We decided to watch it as an end to our Philadelphia experience, but there was time. I made us some open-faced cheeseburgers on sour dough bread, and we took the interim to teach the kids how to play pinochle. Pinochle is the card game I grew up playing at my grandmother's house with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. If you read my book, Summers at Blue Lake, I can tell you that the card playing came out of real experience. The kids caught on fast, but we stopped the lesson and watched Rocky, marveling at the landmarks we had just seen that day and during Mark's marathon.
Sunday was a continuation of our arts quest. My daughter and I took in High School Musical--the musical at the local theater. It was well-done. Maren saw signs for coming auditions, so of course she will be going (if she can work it around her modeling gigs). The night ended with what is sure to become a famous spicy chicken dinner (see previous post), some conciliatory chocolate chip cookies, and more pinochle (the kids have the fever now!).